recommended backpacking gear

How about a 15 pound pack for a weekend trip? At these pack weights, backpacking feels more like day hiking. It’s hard to describe how freeing this is until you experience it. The trail miles melt away. Without the misery of a heavy pack you can actually appreciate the beauty of the land you’re hiking through. You get into camp early, with plenty of time and energy to do almost anything.

Recommended Backpacking Gear

A list of the best lightweight backpacking gear.
Recommended Backpacking Gear has a focus on value—great performance and reasonable cost.

Please check back periodically.
This will be expanded over the next six months to a year to include recommend equipment for all gear categories. For the time being, this will be a list of recommended gear for the “Big Three,” Backpacks, Sleeping Bags (and Quilts), and Tents (to include all forms of shelter).


 

Lightweight Hiker’s Guide to the REI Sale

The vast inventory at the Big REI Anniversary Sale can be overwhelming. This year I've done a bunch of research to select some of the best lightweight gear at the sale. In particular, I list some good items to use your "Members Save 20% Off One Full Priced Item. Plus Save an Extra 20% Off one Garage Item." Shop early for best selection...

By | May 19th, 2017|Categories: Cheap Gear, Recommended Gear|2 Comments

The Art of Sleeping Warm – A Guide to Sleeping Bags and Quilts

Down quilts are far and away the best sleep value for most backpacking trips. They are half the cost and substantially lighter than sleeping bags. For example, a +20°F down quilt like the one above [...]

By | May 3rd, 2017|Categories: Beginners, Recommended Gear, Sleeping Bags & Quilts|42 Comments

Review of Dutchware Chameleon Hammock – Light & Superbly Versatile

One hammock can do it all—and well! The Chameleon, works in all conditions from hot, bug infested jungles to bitter cold winters of the Northeastern US. In the following "Review of Dutchware Chameleon Hammock," I discuss what [...]

By | February 6th, 2017|Categories: Hammocks, Recommended Gear|16 Comments

Smart and Light Gift Guide for Hikers and Backpackers

This gear is smarter, lighter and more thoroughly tested than your typical buyer's guide. Enjoy our picks of the best light and practical gear in our 2016 Smart Gift Guide for Hikers and Backpackers. There's cool gear from [...]

By | December 11th, 2016|Categories: Gear List, Recommended Gear|5 Comments

9 Pound – Full Comfort – Lightweight Backpacking Gear List

A 9 pound pack is all you need to be safe and warm. So, if you want to lower your pack weight but retain all the convenience and comfort of “traditional” backpacking, look no further than this Lightweight Backpacking [...]

By | December 10th, 2016|Categories: Beginners, Gear List, Recommended Gear|73 Comments

Guide to Lightweight Down Jackets and Pants for Backpacking

Forget synthetics! Down rocks. A lightweight down jacket is the most weight and cost effective way to stay warm. Lightweight down jackets are less expensive than synthetics,* they weigh less, but most importantly they are so much [...]

By | November 23rd, 2016|Categories: Clothing, Recommended Gear, Uncategorized|10 Comments

Best Satellite Messenger inReach vs SPOT?

This year we had a local backpacker freeze to death. They'd likely be alive today if they had brought a Satellite Messenger and activated its emergency signal (by the time they were reported missing and the [...]

By | September 12th, 2016|Categories: Emergency & SOS, Recommended Gear, Skills|32 Comments